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ESTA Names Erin Grabe as Next Executive Director

ESTA has announced that it has named Erin Grabe to succeed Executive Director Lori Rubinstein in what is expected to be a year-long transition.Grabe is currently ESTA’s Assistant Technical Standards Manager and part of the transition involves replacing her in that role.

Grabe is uniquely positioned to step into the role of executive director, according to the organization. She has been working in technical production in live events since the age of 15, including nine years working for Grand Stage Company as a sales associate, purchasing agent, and project manager. Following that, Grabe worked as a freelance lighting technician and board operator for corporate and private events while pursuing a Bachelor of Technology degree in Entertainment Technology at New York City College of Technology.

Grabe began as an intern with ESTA’s Technical Standards Program in October of 2012, working as a scribe for some of the task groups writing American National Standards. In early 2013, she joined the staff as assistant technical standards manager, working very closely with manager Karl Ruling. Shortly thereafter, she incorporated administration of ESTA’s association management database into her daily responsibilities. Through these duties she has interfaced with ESTA’s staff on all of the association’s key programs and initiatives.

ESTA President, Jules Lauve, states, “Erin has the full support of ESTA’s Board of Directors. We have total faith and confidence in Erin and her capacity to shoulder these new responsibilities.”

Lori Rubinstein adds, “Thirty years after helping to found the organization and 28 years after becoming the first employee, it’s time for a new generation to lead the association. I have been wanting for some time to be able to put my full focus on the Behind the Scenes charity, which is at a critical stage in its growth. I will still be very involved in the industry and will continue to attend trade shows and other events – I’ll just be wearing one hat instead of two.”

Lori continued, “I have worked closely with Erin over the last five years and have been particularly impressed by her understanding of the big picture, her innate sense of diplomacy, and her attention to detail. It has been clear to me that she enjoys the respect of the many volunteers she works with in the Technical Standards Program as well as the ESTA staff. It’s not easy succeeding someone who created and then held a position for so long, but I am confident Erin has the ability to lead this incredible association and that she will enjoy the full support of our wonderful volunteers and staff.”

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Professional Lighting & Production. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.